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Calling country youth for Rural Summit tickets

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Rural young people keen to be more involved in their local community have the opportunity to receive a free ticket to attend the 2015 Rural Summit which will start in Halls Gap next Wednesday.

Rural Councils Victoria (RCV) runs the Summit every year and has this year made passes available for people aged 18 to 30.

RCV Chair, Cr Rob Gersch said four young people had taken up the offer, but there are more places available.

“Given we are doing some initial consultation for our Tomorrow Towns project at the Rural Summit, it would be great to get input from young people. Tomorrow Towns will develop resources to help councils engage young people in shaping future rural places that reflect their values and aspirations,” Cr Gersch said.

“In addition, attending the Rural Summit will give young people an opportunity to learn more about the range of initiatives local government undertakes and to network with Mayors, councillors and council staff,” he said.

Cr Gersch said the young people could also meet their peers already working in local government, like Kellie Jordan who at 29 years of age, has nearly six years’ experience in local government.

“Kellie loves working in rural shires because she can see the difference her efforts make to the people in the local community,” Cr Gersch said.

“I love that you do actually get to make a difference. You get caught up in the community’s enthusiasm and it’s a privilege to help them to help themselves,” Ms Jordan said.

Kellie is the Manager Economic and Business Development at the West Wimmera Shire Council. She’ll be joined by Shane Richardson, Chair of Colac Otway Youth Council, Wavealee (ok) Laird, a student and RAAF cadet and Steve Mirtschin, 22, who is studying to be a teacher.

“I’ve grown up in the small country town of Woolsthorpe and so rural community issues have always been an interest. And I’d like to be more involved with the local council so this seemed like a good opportunity to attend the Summit and improve my understanding,” Mr Mirtschin said.

Cr Gersch said the young people will also find the key note speakers inspiring.

“We have Sir Bob Parker, former Christchurch City Mayor, Matthew Evans, SBS presenter, chef and local food advocate and Naomi Simson, founder of RedBalloon, just to name a few,” Cr Gersch said.

The Rural Summit is an annual event of RCV. RCV is the alliance of Victoria’s 38 rural councils. It supports and promotes sustainable, liveable and prosperous rural communities, including a program of activities focussed on developing practical solutions to issues shared by the state’s rural councils and communities.
Young people interested in the free tickets can contact Nicole Wakelin at RCV on 03 9667 5538.

The Rural Summit is proudly supported by Rural Councils Victoria with funding from the Victorian Government’s $3.3 million Networked Rural Councils program. This year’s event will be hosted by the Northern Grampians Shire Council from 15 to 17 April in Halls Gap.

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